Guyana’s solar program set to free up state funds for other uses


GUYSOL could save the Guyanese government “tens of millions of dollars in electric subsidies,” according to the program’s director, Amir Dillawar. Guyana’s Parliamentary Committee of Supply recently approved $1.7 billion to help Linden Electricity Co. to mitigate higher fuel prices and provide some relief to the utility’s customers.

Dillawar told Guyana’s Department of Public Information that the program would effectively free up government capital that could be “reprogrammed for the people of Linden.”

In line with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030 (LCDS 2030), the GUYSOL program will invest more than $83 million in eight utility-scale solar systems in Linden, Essequibo, and Berbice. The program aims to facilitate the country’s transition to renewable energy sources and the diversification of its economy. LCDS 2030 builds on a strategy that was originally introduced in 2009, with the aim of expanding the country’s economy fivefold over a period of 10 years, while also keeping energy emissions flat.  

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According to the US International Trade Administration, state-owned Guyana Power and Light loses approximately 26% of the power it generates due to inefficiencies in power grids and transmission lines, which drives the country’s push for the development of microgrids for outlying regions. Prime Minister Mark Anthony Phillips stated in 2022 that the government has budgeted $5.04 million for projects in less populated areas in the off-grid hinterlands, away from the coast.

In October, the Guyana Energy Agency announced the completion of solar PV installations at nine public buildings in the Barima-Waini region, including three schools, five health facilities, and a radio station, for a combined capacity of 69 kW. The region is a mainly forested highland with a low population density, and that makes it a suitable target for renewable energy microgrids.

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